Retro Leather Jackets – Recreating Automotive Fashion History

Spending the better part of 40+ years with a variety of major fashion retailers, I have learned some certain truths. Along with the inevitability of death and taxes is the truth that , in fashion, what had gone around comes around again. The cycle is usually generational. For some reason, every 40 years the essence of the hot fashion of the time is revived and given the title “Retro”. It was only natural, that with the upsurge in Vintage Automobile collecting and racing, some of the hot fashion associated with with the era of the 1960’s / 1970’s would start showing up about now – and also inevitable that there would be a large appeal to a younger, non automotive related audience.

First comes the fabric. Leather jackets have always been cool, but when worn by Marlon Brando and his motorcycle gang, Jimmy Dean in his Porsche 550, Steve McQueen “The King of Cool” in the Great Escape – “cool” had a new meaning. Leather in jackets relating to automobiles, modern and vintage, is back with a vengeance. Next comes the style. When I was buying jackets back in the late 60’s / early 70’s there was one style designed for “cool ” drivers and its generic name was the descriptive name of the company – “Style Auto”. Literally thousands of dozens of this style in a variety of fabric were made. It’s baaaack.

Tony “a2z racer” Adamowicz, working from his original 1970 collection of jackets has produced and is marketing an improved retro Top Grain Leather Jacket that captures the essence of the original. Perfect for both the new and old Porsche, Corvette, BMW, Shelby Mustang GT500, etc. Tony, who just had a podium finish at Infineon Raceway in his 40 year old 1969 F5000 Championship car, said that he will also be designing this Satin Lined, Leather Jacket in other fabrics including Corduroy and Nylon Cire. Tony plans to be styling in his vintage Datsun 240Z. I plan to follow suit in my 65 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce. Niche market to mainstream continues to be the mantra for retro design.